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When duty calls

Students in the north-east are "fired up" at the prospect of learning locally. In what is believed to be the first of its kind, Aberdeen College and Grampian Fire and Rescue Service have signed an agreement which will allow members of the public to complete a college course using the training facilities of five local fire stations.

Rae Angus, the college principal, said: "Research shows that more and more people want to learn closer to home and the fire stations offer a unique opportunity to hold classes in prime locations where staff, their families and neighbours can meet in what it has to be said, is an unusual setting."

Chief Fire Officer David Dalziel said: "Grampian Fire and Rescue Service is a learning organisation, and we are delighted to support lifelong learning."

The range of courses include Indian head massage and stress management, digital photography, art, child care and education, as well as computer and IT training at all levels.

There is even a course which covers texting and aims to bring the most technophobic into the 21st century.

The college and fire service hope the unique setting will stimulate more interest in FE courses, and the GFRS includes an induction tour.

The courses will run in Banchory, Dyce, Ellon, Inverurie and Peterhead.

Margaret Donald, chair of Aberdeen College's board of management.

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